What will the price of a used Epson RD1 be in January 2007?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by msitaraman, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. No, this question is not a troll, but a vaguely scientific effort to elicit a future price on Epson RD-1's from this community. I understand from my economist professor friend that this an excellent way to predict future depreciation, and in general get a distillation of individual wisdom on the direction of a particular market. So let me restate the question as follows.
    Q. How much will you commit now to pay me in the future for a mint condition Epson RD-1 (today's model) from me in January 2007?
    A. Less than $1,000
    (i.e. you think that even in the year 2007 this camera will be worth something to you, but not more than a $1,000).
    B. From $1,000 to $1,500.
    C. $1,500 to $2,000.
    D. $2,000 to $2,500.
    E. $2,500 to $3,000 (you think used Epson's will hold their value so well that a used RD-1 will be worth almost the current new price, even 2 years from now.)
    F. More than $3,000 (you think think the model will not change and the prices will increase steeply).
  2. I don't foresee the price of the RD-1 in the used market will go down drastically because like Leica, the RD-1 fills a niche market and Epson won't target the product as a mass-production item. It will only fullfill just enough for those that want it. Hence, the question of demand and supply dictates the price.
  3. m_.


    $0 as I do not pay for a camera in the future, if that's what you mean.
  4. A lot depends upon 1) how many of these cameras are produced, and 2) the presence of other M-mount digital cameras.

    If successor models are produced, you'll see the Canon effect of rapidly declining prices for the previous models. In that case, less than $1,000.

    If there is competition in the form of a Zeiss Ikon or Leica digital body but no successor from Epson-Cosina, then the price will fall but not as much. $1,500.

    If you have Zeiss Ikon, Leica and a successor, then a more rapid drop. $800.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy anyone's used digital crap, because these shutters are fired (tens of) thousands more times than a film camera, and most of these shutters seem to have a finite lifespan (mean time between failure). If you mean, truly mint (not used), then I still wouldn't buy it. Two years in computer time covers a lot of technological territory.
  5. It really all depends on how other digital rangefinders from the competition fare. If the Digital M and the Digital Zeiss Ikon fail to materialize then the Epson might still be the only choice for a digital rangefinder. Then the price might still be pretty expensive... I'd say somewhere between $1000 to $2000.

    If the Zeiss and Leica Digital Rangefinders emerge by then and are competent, then the 6MP R-D1 would be considered 'past its prime' as they'd say. If that occurs, I'd say that I'd pay less than $1000 for it in 2007. It's not to say that it won't be a good camera then, just that I'd expect that the other competitors would have become a lot better.
  6. You guys are not listening to him, he wants us to speculate now on what we would pay. I would sign up for the camera now, on the promise of delivery in 2007 in mint condition, at a price of $300.00, seriously. In fact I reckon I could only promise to pay $99.00.

    That is more than a Canon F1n I saw on EBay this morning that I wished I had bid on.
  7. that depends on the value of US$ at that time.
  8. I appreciate it's not a troll but it is still a bit of a silly question. Too
    much depends upon variables that are hard to determine. My
    hunch is that by January 2007 the Leica M will be about to hit
    dealer's shelves for around 5-6000 Euros and we will also have
    at least already seen either an RD-2 or the Zeiss digital. Further
    assuming that Epson haven't stuck to their original statement
    that they would only produce 10,000 RD-1's, my guess would be
    that the RD-1 is likely by then to be worth around the $800-1000
    mark (quite possibly less).

    A much more unlikely scenario is that Epson only make 10,000
    RD-1's and do not develop another model. Zeiss fail to enter the
    digital M market and Leica go bust. In that scenario, the RD-1
    would be quite rare and could end up (in 2007) being worth
    more than it's present cost - even in user condition (mechanical
    parts for worn shutters should be easy to come by).
  9. Actually, its meant as a serious question. Consider everything you know about and bid the price <br>you<p> would actually pay. How you arrive at that number is your business, and you can report the process or not, as you choose. But the final bid number has to be real, from your gut, for this exercise to work. Remember, the idea of bidding is to win, at a price that still retains for you. So, for instance, if you are one of those people who buy and sell cameras on ebay just to try them, or for fun, you might bid $99 like Claude, or if your gut tells you that this is going to be a good deal at $800 (topping the highest bid so far), bid $800.

    The result of the exercise should be interesting, because it distills all explicit thought and knowledge, as well as gut-level judgement, into a single number.

    What's your number?
  10. Should read...

    "...at a price that still retains value for you..."
  11. when RD-2 comes out, figure the price of rd-1 will be half of what it sold when it first came out...so my answer is A. When Canon/Olympus/Nikon/Minolta starts putting bigger sensors in their P&S cameras, the RD-1 price might even go down faster that 2007.
  12. WM


    Most likely less than $1000, and as for me personally, perhaps much less than $1000. That is a digital device and as you know digital devices have this disease attached to them called "severe depreciation". e.g. my Canon 10d is probably worth peanuts now compared to what I paid for it 18 months ago.
  13. "that depends on the value of US$ at that time."

    Good point. If at that time the dollar goes hand in hand with the Indonesian rupee you all may become millionaires by selling whatever you have.
  14. Our newspaper pros bought Nikon D1s about three-four years ago for something like
    $6000; a year ago they struggled to sell them for $500 to $1000. I speculate answer "A"
    for the Epson (less than $1000) in 2007, such is the breakneck speed of technology in
    which products are obsolete as soon as they appear on the market.

    In practical terms devaluation is not the only question of significance when evaluating
    economic viability. For pros, at least, comes the question of savings on film and
    development costs. Then an accountant could also explain how to set aside depreciation
    against tax.

    However, no digital camera looks like it will be become an investment or appreciating
    asset anytime soon - unless some manufacturer produces a true collector's item! A
    massive difference in perceptual and practical terms compared with classic film Leicas.

    Yet another question to ponder: would a digital camera still be working in three years
    time? Will memory cards in the same format still be available? Will film? And, if the camera
    still does the task required of it, does it matter that it's actual value has risen or fallen?
  15. Mani.

    Your choices are VERY incomplete. For a camera that costs $3000 today, $1000 is still a very high number. When evaluating answers A could be $999 or $1. Clearly the person willing to spend $999 sees the camera as having value, while the person willing to spend $1 sees it as essentually having no value.

    Me personally... any 6mp digital camera will be essentially a toy come 2007 so I see this as a valueless camera, UNLESS no one else makes a competing Digital Rangefinder by that time. In that case then I see ALL digital rangefinders as valueless since it would be a dead market.
  16. A. Less than $1,000

    There will most likely be a known successor from Cosina/Epson around that time, probably with some more resolution, but not larger sensor. Zeiss and Leica will have full size sensors on models either available or promised to be delivered within 6 months, but price will be a bit higher than $3000.

    I think the dark horse is whether someone thinks improved Digilux 2 rather than a digital M body. With good manual control, an optical rangefinder and good low light performance. Price in the $1000-$1500 range, that would be a serious threat to a crop sensor RD-1.
  17. "No, this question is not a troll,"

    Of course it is. Just draw the depreciation curves (everyone thinks the RD-1 will drop
    faster than an M7, and they're likely right), post them here, and beat your chest because
    you have the better "investment." Shout it from the rooftops, "Leica may be unable to
    make a digital camera, but at least my Leica isn't a crappy investment like that RD-1!" Of
    course, it's a crappy investment compared to stocks, bonds, and even some comic books,
    BUT IT'S GOT THAT RD-1 BEAT! You've disguised your intent, but not very well. This is just
    another wanker, compulsive camera trader question.
  18. It does not lose value because it is not useful, but because all available evidence indicates
    that there will be substantially better technology by the time that he is asking. As others
    have said, the camera would only be worth something to me in 2007 if there were no (or
    only equally capable) digital rangefinders available. Assuming it was the only choice, I
    think 1500 would be fair. I would not pay that however. I am more interested in a full
    frame digital rangefinder with a 10+ megapixel count and excellent performance in a
    traditional style body. I don't care who makes it, but if I were to buy a digital rangefinder,
    that would be what I looked for.
  19. I am more interested in a full frame digital rangefinder with a 10+ megapixel count

    I think it's fair to suggest that there will never be a full frame digital rangefinder fully compatible with the present range of lenses. It's almost certain that Leica's effort in this respect will be less than full frame. I'm quite happy with that.

    I'm also unsure why this belief exists (suggested by another poster above) that 6MP cameras will be "toys" in two years time. This is silly and suggests more of an interest in equipment numbers than in equipment results. The chip in the proposed Leica is extremely unlikely to be more than 10MP and why should it be? 10MP is absolutely fine (as is 6 or 8MP) for a camera of this kind. Let's remember that 35mm film is a pretty crappy format but we still use Leica's because of the balance of size, convenience and quality that they offer. I don't see why digital cameras need to be particularly different in this respect.

    Somebody suggested that the Leica digital M will cost more than $3000. This is an extreme understatement. We are deluding ourselves if we expect the M to be much less than $7000 at today's prices. It's against this (and not the latest prosumer DSLR) that the RD-1 (and the 8 or 10MP RD-2, etc.) will be priced in 2007 (remember that the RD-1 is selling extremely well at the moment at a huge premium over the cost of 'equivalent' 6MP DSLRs.).
  20. My guess is $500. Already focus problems are reported that can not be fixed. The RF simply doe not the required adjustment points. I seems it can be correct at infinity or one other distance, but not both. Some may be made better than others and you may get a good one or a bad one. CV is simply not Leica quality.

    One major Chicago retailer will not accept any digital camera in trade. What does that tell you about their value?
  21. Must be a golden time to be in sales. Everything new is a must-have, put-it-on-my-card item that will be near worthless before the Visa bill is paid. Repeat the process until your credit's used up. It's an economic miracle!
  22. To answer the question, I pick "A." Somewhere in the $600-800 range.
  23. I'm with Kevin. A.
  24. My choice is A.

    I just can't imagine anything digital holding its value.
  25. Peter,

    I did indeed! Great response!


    My second post was not addressed to you, but to potential posters, who might wonder what to make of the post...
  26. I also pick A. Under $1000.00 I won't pay more for it in 2007 than I paid for my Ricoh GX or my Bessa R. About $400.00 not including accessories. I expect it will be a technological antique in 2 years, and possibly competing against affordable full frame sensor digital cameras.
  27. My offer is decidedly A -- though the RD1 may retain some extra cache for collectors,
    a la the Apple Lisa, as a quirkily lovable format pioneer. The numbered name makes
    clear (hopefully) that Epson/CV don't intend to just sit on their butts while Leica rolls
    out their digital M. And if for an RD2 &c. their 'limited edition' pricing scheme finally
    gives way to a more reasonable Bessa R#-vs-M6 ratio, then the RD-1 may indeed
    sink pretty fast in price.

    Given that the basic chassis is still a minor variant on a superb 1950s design, all of
    this makes one dream of a digital M designed, somehow, for chip upgradability.
    Throw in moving chip-plane autofocus (a la the Contax AX) and focus range
    extension, plus the other axes of chip motion for image stabilization like the KM 7D,
    make the shutter quieter, and you've got pretty much the dream street/low-light
  28. I think a clean one would be worth abou $1400...
    Case study... I bought an essentially obsolete Dicomed Bigshot 4000 (16MP teathered
    digital back the ONLY worked with an obsolete, buggy and very rare mac. clone computer).
    I got the back, computer, assesories, and a Sinar/Foba studio stand for $2250 from a
    Chicago studio that was closing. The stand was worth the $2250. I used the Dicomed
    back for two years and about 40 assignments netting me a decent return on the whole
    I wanted to step up to a self-contained digital back for Hasselblad and Sinar. I asked if
    there was a trade value for the Dicomed... I was laughed at. (this item sold for $55,000
    new--yes 55 THOUSAND). Put it on e-bay hoping for $400.. perhaps $600?? What did I
    get? $1500.00 and I think I could have sold 4 at that price... I still get a random e-mail 4
    months later inquiring if I had more or knew if the buyer would sell? Go figure.... The
    sales guy at Helix was amazed and perhaps sad he did not offer me the $500 I wanted on
    trade for my Leaf Aptus back.
  29. I think Vincent is pretty close at $1400. I begin to feel tempted at $1500. At $1250, I think my resistance would be gone. I saw one go on the Bay for $1550 this past week.

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